Cartoon Network is racking up critical acclaim these days with popular series like Adventure Time and Steven Universe scoring big ratings with kids and winning rave reviews from adults for their emotionally complex storytelling and progressive social-consciousness. But many fans still point to the previous decade as a high-point for the network, which featured hits like Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls.
Now, it is known when fans can get their first look at what the new Powerpuff Girls are all about, as Cartoon Network has set a premiere date of April 4, 2016 for the new series.
Created by Craig McCracken and originally debuting as part of Cartoon Network's "What A Cartoon!" new talent search series (which also produced an early Seth MacFarlane short that would eventually become the pilot for Family Guy,) The Powerpuff Girls was a send-up of superhero cartoons that also satirized cliches of anime and girl-targeted media. The principal characters were a trio of kindergarten-age girls created by a benevolent scientist, who were granted superhuman powers after a laboratory accident. Dubbed Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, the three battled villains like Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkin, and Him for six seasons between 1998 and 2005.
The new series is being produced without involvement from McCracken, though he has given his blessing to the project. Nick Jennings and Bob Boyle, veterans of Adventure Time, Spongebob Squarepants will produce the series along with a trio of new voice actors (Amanda Leighton, Kristen Li, and Natalie Palamides) taking over for the main characters. Roger L. Jackson will reprise his role as Mojo Jojo, while Jennifer Hale will once again voice at least two of her original series characters but not all of them.
Revivals of the series have been attempted previously, with a special titled Dance Pantsed released in 2014 that featured a radically revised art style and design for the main characters -- though the new series returns to an aesthetic much more in line with the original, while also conforming to the house style of many other current Cartoon Network offerings.
Fans will likely remain irritated by the recasting and other proposed changes to the series, but its worth noting that the new show is being aimed at a generation too young to have strong memories of the original version. The new series will likely succeed or fail on the strength of its writing, though it remains to be seen whether it will earn the same accolades as its predecessor. For its part, Cartoon Network tends to draw the most critical praise for series that deliberately appeal to adult audiences as well as children, while other series more popular mainly with children are not as frequently lauded.
The Powerpuff Girls reboot will premiere on Cartoon Network on April 4th, 2016.
Source: TV Insider